Can we choose to believe in God?
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10-09-2016, 03:45 PM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(10-09-2016 10:42 AM)Anjele Wrote:  
(09-09-2016 07:43 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Well I could not now but I'me thinking back to when I was an ignorant kid and I remember thinking that all the adults around me believed so I should too..

^This...it took me I while to realize that I didn't have to 'believe'.

Anjele and ts,

Your posts make me think of young people growing up in communist countries, such as the USSR, China under Mao, or today's North Korea.

D.
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10-09-2016, 06:36 PM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
I think you may be overelaborating somewhat my simply stated belief in the non-existence of supernatural entities. Or more correctly my disbelief in their existence.

(10-09-2016 02:09 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  [...] Finally, to mention a different point - In your first paragraph, there is the also interesting line - "I choose to believe that there is no evidence". Let us leave aside the fact that there is evidence (albeit implausible and poor) for the existence of G/god. IMHO evidence is a matter of fact, rather than belief. I would agree with you that there is not extant plausible evidence for the existence of G/god AFAIK. However, it is a long jump from that view to the claim that "there is no evidence". A consideration of philosophical induction would be helpful here.

To date, there is no—nor has there ever been any—empirical evidence supporting the existence of supernatural or paranormal entities. I agree that evidence is a matter of fact, and apropos that, theism requires merely faith that something exists to make it so—such as a god. But faith is defined as belief without evidence.

I'm not sure I'm with you when you say: "I would agree with you that there is not extant plausible evidence for the existence of god[s] AFAIK. However, it is a long jump from that view to the claim that "there is no evidence".

The only evidence for the existence of something, anything, is plausible evidence. To my way of thinking, implausible evidence is not truly evidence, but merely opinion, misrepresentation, or fabrication.

There are numerous written, eye-witness accounts in c8th-century church records in Ireland that record sightings of leprechauns. That's the same type of "evidence" that the bible documents as "proof" of the Christian god's existence. How and why do we dismiss in toto the former as inadmissible evidence, but the latter as true?

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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11-09-2016, 05:51 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(10-09-2016 03:40 PM)Dworkin Wrote:  unsapien,

My point was not about the "idea" of the last judgment. I was considering if we could choose to reject the last judgment if it was actually happening.


D.

Make it actually happen...then we can talk. Right now it's ONLY an "idea"

A friend in the hole

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11-09-2016, 05:59 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(10-09-2016 11:16 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  
(10-09-2016 05:38 AM)Chas Wrote:  Atheism is the only reasonable view given the dearth of evidence for any gods.

Chas,

Bertrand Russell provided a thought experiment, popularly called "Russell's Chicken".

An intelligent chicken finds it reasonable to assume that it's comfortable life will continue as before. The date is the 24th December.

D.

Not apt. If you were talking about evidence, that would be different.
Dinosaurs before the K-T boundary is the parallel to Russell's chicken, not the lack of evidence for any gods.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-09-2016, 06:15 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(10-09-2016 03:45 PM)Dworkin Wrote:  
(10-09-2016 10:42 AM)Anjele Wrote:  ^This...it took me I while to realize that I didn't have to 'believe'.

Anjele and ts,

Your posts make me think of young people growing up in communist countries, such as the USSR, China under Mao, or today's North Korea.

D.

Or anywhere where people KNOW they're right about something. Like Texas.
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16-09-2016, 02:19 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(11-09-2016 05:51 AM)unsapien Wrote:  Make it actually happen...then we can talk. Right now it's ONLY an "idea"

unsapien,

In such circumstances, I think you may be talking in capitals and bold and italic. Shocking

Let us hope it doesn't come to such a literal pass. Smile

D.
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16-09-2016, 02:22 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(11-09-2016 05:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  Not apt. If you were talking about evidence, that would be different.
Dinosaurs before the K-T boundary is the parallel to Russell's chicken, not the lack of evidence for any gods.

Chas,

I recommend a look at 'philosophical induction'.

D.
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16-09-2016, 02:28 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(10-09-2016 06:36 PM)SYZ Wrote:  I think you may be overelaborating somewhat my simply stated belief in the non-existence of supernatural entities. Or more correctly my disbelief in their existence.

SYZ,

I am interested in the notion that "disbelief" is "more correctly" stated "belief".

How do you support your change of language?

D.
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16-09-2016, 02:36 AM
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
Those who find the claims made by theism to be compelling are theists. They believe that the claims of theism are true, in whole or in part.

Those who find those claims unconvincing are atheists. They believe that the claims of theism are false or fail to meet their burden of proof.

Those who don't care or don't know enough to have a committed opinion are agnostics. They are agnostic in the colloquial sense, in that they're not committed to an answer.


That being said, beliefs are an operant condition determined by our knowledge. For many who believe, the words of their friends and family are enough, their own feelings are enough, to convince them of the 'truth' and their 'knowledge'. Their beliefs are still built upon evidence, they just don't know enough to realize that it's bad evidence. Once a belief is latched onto and given importance, motivated reasoning can be a hell of a hurdle to overcome, even in the face of good contradictory evidence. So while I do not think that we control what we believe in, we do have an uncanny ability to rationalize that which we're already investing in, to protect it from invalidation. Depending how far the determinism rabbit hole you want to go down, we really don't have any conscious control over that either.

So no, I don't think you can choose your beliefs. You can choose what you profess, but the only thing that can change your mind is evidence (keeping in mind that not everyone defines evidence the same way, understands what constitutes good and bad evidence, or tries to maintain healthy skepticism with scientific levels of rigor and self examination).

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16-09-2016, 08:18 AM (This post was last modified: 16-09-2016 08:22 AM by Chas.)
RE: Can we choose to believe in God?
(16-09-2016 02:22 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  
(11-09-2016 05:59 AM)Chas Wrote:  Not apt. If you were talking about evidence, that would be different.
Dinosaurs before the K-T boundary is the parallel to Russell's chicken, not the lack of evidence for any gods.

Chas,

I recommend a look at 'philosophical induction'.

D.

And I suggest you study logic.

Russell's chicken has evidence that people actually exist, unlike theists who have no evidence of any gods.

You have misapplied 'Russell's Chicken'. It was inapt.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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